Alagoas

Alagoas is nestled between Pernambuco and Serhipe in the north-eastern part of the country of Brazil. Its capital city is Maceió, which is a popular tourist destination, particularly favoured for its beautiful beaches and delicious array of seafood. One of the borders of Alagoas is created by the impressive São Francisco River.

During the 16th century, Alagoas had been part of the Pernambuco (a Brazilian state situated in the north-east of the country) captaincy. However, King John VI of Portugal ordered that a significant part of the territory then belonging to Pernambuco as a result of a revolution be taken away from it. Some of the region was given to Bahia, while the other was made independent; that is, Alagoas.

Image of beach near fihserman's village near Maceió, capital city of Alagoas.
Beach near fihserman's village near Maceió, capital city of Alagoas.

Alagoas developed slowly. When African slaves were introduced to South America, they increased the work force and the amount of trade and labour being carried out in this area, making Alagoas a slightly more prominent area in the local economy. During the 1500’s and 1600’s, pirates frequently invaded the area in search of the Brazil wood, which was a valuable commodity. Sugar plantations and mills were established, some of which still exist today as a remnant of this history. Eventually, in 1630, the Dutch seized this territory, keen to take control of the booming sugar industry. At this time, Alagoas was one of the richest captaincies in South America. This situation only lasted until the Dutch were defeated just 16 years later, which saw them abandoning the territory completely.

The coastline comprises a number of exquisite beaches and intriguing reefs. It is also characterised by a fascinating network of lakes and lagoons, from where the state actually got its name. The beaches are bordered by rolling green hills. In fact, because of the rains that fall in these hilly areas, they were once the perfect locale for the sugar cane crops of years ago.

Further inland is the Sertão of the Northeast, which is a high-lying area that is very dry, occupied with thorny bushes and other scrub vegetation. The entire state is almost 28 000 square kilometres (or 11 000 square miles) in area and has a population of over 3.1 million people.

Image of Small church of a fisherman's village, 50 feet away from the beach. (Maceio - Brazil)
Small church of a fisherman's village, 50 feet away from the beach.
(Maceio - Brazil).

Today, Alagoas is one of the poorest states in this South America country. The main economic producer is made up by the service sector, while the industrial and agricultural sectors also do relatively well.

As the tourists continue to find delight in the secluded beaches and rustic towns of Alagoas, some areas, such as the capital, Maceió, have expanded their services and resources to accommodate these visitors from all over the world. Other places, like Maragogi and Japaratinga, are starting to establish tourist resorts and the like for the benefit of international visitors.

During your time in Alagoas, you are urged to see:

• The Festa Junina (Saint John Festival) on 24 June each year
• Pajuçara Beach in Maceió
• Nossa Senhora Da Corrente
• São Francisco (São Francisco / Nossa Senhora dos Anjos)
• São Gonçalo Garcia

Here is the Algoas Government web site: http://www.governo.al.gov.br/

Here is more tourism related information: http://www.brasilcontact.com/destinies/brazil_alagoas.html